Mon, May 26, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP opposed to Wu’s China visit, Lai says


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday that the DPP opposes the so-called “second channel” that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is using to direct the China policy of the new KMT administration.

Lai was referring to KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s (吳伯雄) upcoming visit to China, during which Wu is expected to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) for talks on several issues, including the opening of direct cross-strait charter flight services and the admission of Chinese tourists to Taiwan.

The Wu-Hu meeting, which last night was confirmed for Wednesday, will mark the first formal contact between the ruling parties on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait since 1949, when the KMT retreated to Taiwan after losing the civil war.

Lai warned Wu and the other members of the KMT delegation that are visiting China on the five-day trip not to compromise the interests of the nation and its people.

The planned Wu-Hu meeting is dubbed as a KMT-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) engagement, but the two party leaders will discuss “national affairs,” while avoiding any use of national titles for either side.

“This is unethical,” Lai said.

He said that before President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) assumed office, and before Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) became the chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, they were both opposed to the idea of party-to-party engagements, or a “second channel” of communication across the Strait.

The DPP legislator said that now both Ma and Lai Shin-yuan were supporting the KMT’s efforts to seek closer engagements with the CCP and its maneuvering to create a “second channel” of communication across the Strait.

“Ma and Lai’s [Shin-yuan] change of heart could have happened as a result of intimidation by Beijing,” Lai said.

The KMT and the CCP have been in contact since former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) met with Hu in late April 2005.

Critics of the Lien-Hu meeting and the upcoming Wu-Hu meeting contend that this approach gives China the opportunity to divide Taiwan internally and downgrade its sovereignty by emphasizing party-to-party talks rather than government-to-government negotiations.

Meanwhile, the DPP whip described as “totally ridiculous” Ma’s request on Saturday that Wu relay to Hu Taiwan’s willingness to “assist in the relief efforts in quake-stricken areas in Sichuan” by providing aid for the mental rehabilitation of quake survivors, donating funds to help survivors and their children get back on their feet and funding the reconstruction of some devastated areas.

“The KMT is paying closer attention to the Chinese people than to the Taiwanese people, many of whom need help as well,” the DPP legislator said.

The earthquake that struck on May 12 has resulted in a confirmed death toll of more than 60,000.

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